Provided by Metacritic.com
Part of what makes writer-director Rick Famuyiwa's Dope so fresh and joyous is that in many key ways it's not new at all.
The unexpected comedy bits, great music and an insightful point of view all contribute to making "Dope" something special, but it simply wouldn't fly without Moore.
The good certainly outweighs the uneven. Dope is both intelligent and crowd-pleasing.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
Dope isn’t perfect — it’s got a couple too many endings, and it loses the romantic subplot for a distressingly long time. But it moves with amazing energy, the dialogue and soundtrack and imagery a constant stream of pop-culture references, in-jokes, and digressions.
The fun momentum of Dope’s breakneck plotting and snappy dialogue easily overcome any momentary attack of earnestness.
Essentially a caper movie, Dope defies the wearisome social realism that is often used to depict lives at the bottom of the social ladder. The script is verbally smart and the various contrivances and tangles of the plot are amusingly played out.
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
Bouncy, with snappy dialog to spare and a great young cast headed by breakout star Shameik Moore, this is a crowd-pleaser from start to finish.
Dope provokes a discussion about the dichotomy between societal expectations of the race-defined self, as well as the democratic American right to be who you want to be — but it's an unfocused and tangential one, limited by the trappings of comedy and the flash of the hip-hop aesthetic.
Dope has a hint of “Virginity Hit” and “Project X” about it, but it goes much further than those trangressive and sometimes violent romps. It challenges its characters, its community and us to think beyond cause-and-effect, stereotypes and expectations. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, Famuyiwa is onto something both funny and thought provoking.
Dope is a mess of styles and mixed signals, a pulp fiction that mostly tend to its loyalties to other cine-odysseys through the streets of Los Angeles.
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